Friday, July 4, 2014

45 Days in London: Day 11 Independence!

In honor of the 4th of July (American Independence) today's schedule was simply "Choose Your Own Adventure." Jeff and Mr Cool chose to go to a giant rock concert festival to see Pharrell Williams and Kanye West. I chose to explore another part of London.  :)

Notting Hill, Portabello Road, Kensington Palace and Gardens

I got off the tube at Notting Hill, remembering how much I love the movie and thinking it might be a fun place to paint. I saw wonderful row houses and lots of quaint shops, plus a wonderful old church. But the first thing that grabbed my attention was a sign pointing to Portabello Market. YAY! I've wanted to go there ever since I was a kid, when I saw the movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks

It's still a bustling outdoor market—lots of antique vendors (everything from sports equipment to china and silver), used books, vintage's a creative person's heaven! So much to take in.

 I have no idea how much time I spent there; I kind of just let myself get swept away in the magic of it all.
I tried on hats, tried on jewelry, flipped through books, and sniffed artisan soaps. The sidewalks and streets were so crowded I couldn't possibly stop and paint (or even sketch) but my creative juices were flowing, regardless. I covered the entire stretch of road (about 2 miles).
Then there is the much beautiful food! Fruits, vegetables, breads, pastries, cheeses, sausages, seafood...and the prices are much better than the supermarkets. 

And the original mushroom vendor, from which I assume the marketplace got its name: Portabella.

Kensington Palace

Also at the tube stop was a sign pointing the opposite direction toward Kensington Palace. So of course I had to go there too! I love the gilded gates. And notice there are still memorial letters and gifts honoring Diana.

Equally lovely are the gardens. I sat and ate my lunch on one of these benches.

There's a quaint carousel near the Bayswater entrance to the park.

Here's another favorite spot. (Obviously I took my time walking home.)

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